My Memorial Days

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Hey Space Cadets, today I want to step away from the SciFy goodness that normally inhabits this page and talk about the elephant in the room.  I know that many of you live in the US just like I do, and for us it’s Memorial Day.  A day where we remember those who died for freedom, mourn their deaths, while celebrating their lives.  This day has always been a special time to me, I’m a military brat from a long line of veterans.  I was told stories from an early age, but they never quite felt real.  They were just stories that were great adventures but weren’t tangible for me.  Sadly, that all changed after Iraq because now they weren’t just strange adventure tales, they were my stories.  My ghosts.  So yeah, now I’ll unashamedly weep for the fallen because the stories became about my friends.  These names that we celebrate are no longer just abstract and esoteric, they’re people I served with.  I knew them, heard stories of their lives, saw pictures of their families.  I met their significant others; wives, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends.  I held their kids at unit functions and argued with them over bad calls on mandatory fun sporting events.  Every day is Memorial Day now, but on this specific holiday I make an effort to remember them in a more tangible manner.  I show their pictures to my kids, tell their stories and touch the shared mementos of our service.  If we tell their stories, they’re not really gone and we honor what they gave up.  I’m on a one-man war to save their stories from the vagaries of fickle memories.  Why do I do this?  Because of everything they gave up; birthdays they’ll never have and kids they’ll never get to meet and every traffic jam they won’t cuss about because even that’s a gift from where they lay, in what I hope is a peaceful slumber.

 

Rest Easy My Brothers and Sisters, until we meet again in Valhalla.

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Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

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JR

 

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are images used by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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